CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- It is a sobering story, one that began on September 27, 2017.
Michelle Ziner recalls the phone call she received from a nurse at CMC Main.
“That’s the call you never want to get," Michelle said. "I began to feel sick, and my knees went weak, everything just went grey in a blur."
"Your world just stops,” she added.
It was around 10:30 p.m. when Michelle’s son, Josh, was in his 2012 Hyundai Elantra. According to police, a drunk driver blew through a red light at W.T. Harris Boulevard and J.W. Clay Boulevard, striking the side of Josh's car.
He was traveling alone.
It took five first responder units more than 45 minutes to extract his body from the dismantled vehicle.
Following the crash, doctors revealed that Josh suffered a ruptured aorta, broken neck, lacerated liver, broken pelvis, ruptured spleen and worst of all, a traumatic brain injury.
“His driver’s door was indented by three feet,” said Josh’s dad, Larry Ziner.
His surgeons said 95 percent of people wouldn’t have made it out of the car alive.
After several surgeries, Josh was in a trauma-induced coma for six weeks. His nurses said the brain trauma would probably be too much to overcome but the Ziner family saw something in their son others that others did not.
"It would’ve been very expected if he had gone that night but I fully believe the Lord met him there at that accident and the Lord saved him, and he saved for a purpose and we’re just seeing the beginning of that,” Michelle said.
The minor milestones might be minimal to most but Josh’s recovery in the last five and a half of months has been nothing short of miraculous.
Not only did he regain consciousness but Josh can communicate through non-verbal cues, lift his thumbs and fingers, still has his memory and ability to read.
In spite of the tragic accident, the Ziner's are grounded in their faith.
"I don’t know what he thinks but I do know that as difficult as it is for him to lay there, he still smiles and he still brings joy and I don’t know how we could do that because I don’t think I could do that," Michelle said.
The family says they forgive the person responsible for nearly taking Josh's life as they have put all of their energy, focus and faith into seeing their own son's life restored.
Those interested in following Josh's journey or would like to leave an encouraging note, you can click here for more details.